Thank you for your continued support to our project 'Send a Child in India to School for a Year'.
With your support we are about to begin a new year and are excited about the hopes and challenges it will bring. And at this yearend, we would like to share with you the experience of a child who study at our non formal education centre, so that you come to know how exactly YOUR support is creating real change.
Here is the experience from a girl named Anita:
“My name is Anita and I am 9 years old. My father is Ishwar Lal ji and he works in the fields and as a laborer. My mother’s name is Sheila Devi and I have 2 brothers. My younger brother and I study in Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra (Non Formal Education Center) in Kotala. My elder brother Suresh Kumar has also passed out from Seva Mandir’s Shiksha Kendra and is now studying in class 7 in a non-government school. The distance from my home to Seva Mandir’s School and to the government school is the same, but we come to study in Seva Mandir’s School because teachers beat children in the government school and demand for various things which we have to bring. But there is no pressure on us in our Seva Mandir School. We are independent here and can concentrate on our studies – and we have fun. The teacher of our school is very nice. He uses various innovative teaching methods to teach us. We love the way he teaches us. We have a big water tank at our school and we get drinking water from here.”
So that was the experience of Anita. We are able to make these progresses because of YOU. Once again thank you so much for your continued support.
Greetings from Seva Mandir!
Hope you are well. I like to introduce myself to you. I am Atul Lekhra. I have joined Seva Mandir early this year and I will now be communicating with you through these project reports. I am glad to be a part of this program and look forward to talking to you about all these wonderful projects you are supporting.
Today I want to share with you story of Joshi Lal from Kham village.
Joshi Lal, 10 years old boy lives in Kham village of Kotra Block. He always wished to be in school, especially seeing his friends attending one. His inability to hear and speak held him back, though he had registered his desire with his father many times. His father never felt encouraged as he wasn’t sure if anyone in the government school would be able to deal with a child with special needs, nor he had the resources to support his son’s education. One day Joshi Lal couldn’t hold himself back and went to a Seva Mandir supported Shiksha Kendra (SK) in Dhana hamlet, 5 kms from his house. He got himself enrolled and started attending it regularly. Though in the beginning the instructor had difficulties in communicating with Joshi, through actions and gestures he eventually began to communicate with Joshi. Slowly Joshi Lal learnt how to write and began to solve simple addition and subtraction problems. Being at SK is the best time of the day for Joshi. He plays games (Sitoliya a traditional Indian game) with his friends. Besides his regular attendance, Joshi also made sure that his two brothers also come to the centre regularly. The loving relationship between the instructor and Joshi is an evidence of the joyful environment Seva Mandir’s SKs are creating in their classes.
Much of this success is also due to your untiring support. It is a great partnership and we hope to continue having you by our side. We really appreciate the trust you have shown in us. Please do let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you again.
I am writing to you today to share some news about a wonderful accomplishment for the Seva Mandir Education Program. After being on the verge of having to close down our successful NFE primary schools, we are happy to announce that the Government of Rajasthan has officially legalized them as education centers. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, implemented by the Indian Government in 2009, has demonstrated progress in the rights based approach to ensuring education for all. However, under this act, one-size-fits-all criteria were set out for what constitutes a “school” such as, number of classrooms, toilet facilities, and level of teacher qualification. Our primary schools, which do not meet this criterion but deliver a top quality education to over 5,000 of the region’s most impoverished children every year,faced closure.
It took the Seva Mandir family over 2 years of hard work to save the program and ensure the continued education of the children in our work area. We carried out a study that found that 49% of children are still out of school in the remote areas where Seva Mandir schools operate. We lobbied intensely, arguing that despite the Government’s promise of education for all, Seva Mandir is vital and necessary until the State can deliver on that promise. Finally, just days ago, the Government provided us a chance to prove our work. 4 teams of Government officials conducted random surprise checkups on 11 of our NFE centers. 10 out of 11 were open, and after full day observations the officials concluded that the learning levels in our schools were significantly above those found in Government schools. Furthermore, the officials praised our schools’ efficiency, and recognized the fact that we are doing more than Government with fewer inputs. As a result of their experience on the ground, and after vetting our curriculum and teaching material, the State of Rajasthan has legalized our NFEs by according them the status of Special Training Centers (STCs). In concluding meetings, officials resolved that if society was so accepting of the program then it was important for the government to follow suit. As our NFE schools are now legitimized we can continue to provide the neediest and most marginalized children with a quality education. This is a tremendous achievement for Seva Mandir and all of our wonderful supporters. Thank you for contributing to this success and for your continued support!
If you wish to continue your support for the education of children in southern Rajasthan, on June 12th Global Giving’s Bonus Rewards Day will allow you to make an even bigger difference. By matching your donation by 50%, your contribution will go that much further to ensuring the education that all children deserve.
This year, your support has helped nearly 6,000 children go to school this year! Below, you’ll find a brief report on how our Shiksha Kendra (SK – formally known as the Non-Formal Education) project has done this year (March ’12 – April ’13). Our staff have been working hard with local communities to increase access to, and the quality of, education and to persuade parents that giving their children, especially girls, an education is in everyone’s long-term interest. In truth, this is a tough battle – a recent survey in 14 of some of our most remote and impoverished villages concluded that 53% of the children (aged 6-14) are not enrolled in school. In fact, 36% of them have never even attended a single day of school. It is in this context that we are working to provide schooling for the thousands of out-of-school children in southern Rajasthan.
Seva Mandir currently runs 173 Shiksha Kendras (SKs) in the 5 blocks (subdivisions of a district) we work in. These schools offer a primary education that is catered to out-of-school children. The majority of these children are first-generation learners, meaning their parents have never gone to school. The main goal of the SKs is to provide a quality education that enables children to confidently and smoothly transition into government schools.
Some key figures for this year are:
Progress in Learning:
In order to monitor the progress of the children, we conduct a standardized test twice a year. The learning levels have been categorized from 0-3, and roughly corresponding to government classes. While we still have not conducted the final test for this year, a comparison of our latest midterm exam with last year’s results shows significant progress. The proportion of children in Levels 2 and 3 increased by 15%, reflecting the greater efficacy of our teachers who have been receiving continuous training.
Enrollment in Government Schools:
As mentioned in the introduction, the main goal of the SKs is to get children enrolled into government schools once their basic competencies in Hindi and math have been achieved. This year, 1,114 children from our Shiksha Kendras were mainstreamed into government schools. About two-thirds of these children were accepted into Classes 5 and 6, which is a strong indicator that our instructors are effective teachers.
Investing in our Instructors:
Nearly all the instructors at the SKs are local community members who often belong to the same village they work in. Most of our instructors have only studied up to 8th or 9th class, so Seva Mandir provides regular and rigorous training to enhance their capabilities and skills. This year there were 28 training sessions held in all five blocks.
In addition, 8 Seva Mandir staff members participated in a two-week teacher exchange program with an NGO in the Netherlands, where they received new ideas on how to make changes and improvements with concrete, long-term plans.
As you can see, this year has shown an improvement in enrollment and quality of education received at the Shiksha Kendras. The Shiksha Kendra model has been incredibly successful in integrating hundreds of well-trained children into government schools. The ambition of this project is matched only by the commitment of our staff, who are working tirelessly to create a much-needed revolution in education in our region.
Please feel free to comment and/or rate our report, your feedback means everything to us!
On behalf of all of our staff, instructors, and the thousands of children you are helping, I would like to sincerely thank you for your commitment to our cause!
Through your support of Seva Mandir's Send a Child in India to School for a Year Program, children such as Roshan, pictured in the yellow shirt, are given an opportunity that they may otherwise never get, to develop a love of learning.
Roshan studied at Losing Dhana Shiksha Kindra (previously known as Non Formal Education Centre) from the age of seven. He is now 12 years old and attends secondary school in Level 9. He loves learning and likes Hindi, Maths and English. The impact of the SK (Shiksha Kendra) does not stop with Roshan, however. His father is a labourer who fits water pipes so he is away from home a great deal; he encourages Roshan to go to school and has even said he will punish him if he does not attend - an indication of how much he values education for his son. Although his parents are not literate Roshan reads with his younger brother who is currently studying in the SK; he wants to encourage him to progress in school as well.
Thanks to your support of Seva Mandir's SKs, children like Sanjay who face numerous disadvantages that might keep them from ever attending school have the opportunity to receive an education and encourage their brothers, sisters and fellow community members to do the same. In this way, the impact of the Shiksha Kendras are felt beyond the walls of the classroom and create ripples of change for their whole community.
With your support, Seva Mandir hopes to create communities where every child has the opportunity to develop a love of learning. We thank you for your support of this program and children like Roshan.
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